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Empanadas and Community Support are a Recipe for Success

CDC Foundation, Partnering for Vaccine Equity

OLA of Eastern Long Island in New York has been working to bring COVID-19 vaccines to the most isolated areas of Long Island’s East End—a semi-rural resort area made up of small hamlets and villages. They are particularly proud of their vaccination event held on September 14, 2021, in the hamlet of Montauk located within the Town of East Hampton. For this event, they partnered with Stony Brook Southampton Hospital and East Hampton town to provide vaccines at the Montauk Playhouse—a large, centrally located community building operated by the town. OLA began distributing promotional fliers at nearby businesses three weeks ahead of the event, and they also found a unique partner in the Continental Market, a well-known local Latino deli, which agreed to give away empanadas to those getting vaccinated. On the day of the event, demand was so high that one hour after opening the doors, hospital staff had to get a driver to bring 50 additional vaccines from the hospital in Southampton to Montauk, a round trip of 1 ½ hours. At the end of the day, OLA helped get 100 people in this tiny hamlet vaccinated, double the number expected, and gave away many delicious empanadas!

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